HEALTHY LIVING

Shannon Purser Nails One Of The Worst Parts About Mental Illness

Sometimes being alone feels like the only solution.

08/14/2017 16:40 EDT
Marcus Ingram via Getty Images

Shannon Purser is dropping a major truth bomb about the isolating nature of mental health issues.

The “Stranger Things” actress tweeted yesterday that she was having a rough day and that when she’s feeling low, she often wants to be by herself. Why? Because anything else feels too draining.

When I’m mentally unwell, it just becomes so exhausting to do much of anything,” she wrote. “Especially talking to people about what I’m feeling.”

Purser’s tweet succinctly sums a truth that likely sounds familiar to people living with mental health conditions: Sometimes being alone feels like the only solution when it comes to managing symptoms. Mental health disorders can zap a person’s energy and motivation, making conversation with others feel excruciating. It also causes social withdrawal, which can make the person suffering not want to have any human interaction. 

Of course, reaching out to others in these moments ― even when it feels tiring ― can be beneficial. Talking to a mental health professional has been shown to ease the negative effects of disorders over time. Family and friends can also help during these instances as well just by offering up a few supportive statements or providing small distractions.

Purser acknowledged this, too, and added that she has learned to recognize when she truly needs support during tough periods and when she just needs space.

Thankfully I’ve gotten so much better that I’m able to ask for help when I really need it,” she tweeted. “But sometimes I just need to recharge.” 

The actress hasn’t shied away from sharing her own experiences with mental illness. Last week, the actress also opened up to People magazine about living with obsessive compulsive disorder and seeking therapy for the condition.

“In my case, it was me being super self-conscious, to the point where it was debilitating,” she said. “I didn’t feel comfortable talking to people. It’s incredible, but I will sing the praises of therapy. I think everybody should be in therapy. It helps so much to have somebody educated you can talk to.”

An estimated one in five American adults will deal with a mental health issue in a given year. And Purser’s statements are a reminder that the conditions aren’t just something a person can just “get over.” It takes hard work, support and personal care in many forms, including reaching out for help and taking a little alone time.

Props to Purser for calling that out. Barb FTW.

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